Juneteenth “Proclamation” Not Yet Uhuru

HOUSTON—On Sunday, June 19, 2011, a festive crowd gathered at the All African People's Development and Empowerment Project's (AAPDEP's) 5th Ward Community Garden for the Juneteenth One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace, Music and Freedom Festival.

African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) Chairman, Omali Yeshitela, gave a presentation that finally put the question to rest of whether Africans in Texas got the word two years late with regard to Lincoln freeing us from chattel slavery with the so-called Emancipation Proclamation.

The event had been officially opened by Omowale Kefing and Nykeba Griffin, both of whom representatives of the APSP and the 5th Ward Community Garden and Food Coop.

Prior to Chairman Omali’s presentation, several cultural workers had performed, and Event Engineer Danny Russo had kept a positive vibration by filling the air with good music.


At right: Khalila K-Nice, a super talented young sister that brought the crowd to its feet

Chairman Omali stated that June 19, 1865, was not two years late, but in fact 146 years early, since Africans are still not free in Texas or nowhere within U.S. borders, on the African continent or any other place on earth in the year 2011.

So indeed, the Emancipation Proclamation can be put in the same paper shredder with the hundreds of treaty documents that the Indigenous people signed.

The theme of Chairman Omali’s presentation was Africa, and that we are an African people and that our freedom would not be given to us by a so-called Emancipation Proclamation document or any other document or proclamation.

If we are to be free, and we will, we will have to fight for our freedom and self-determination.

Yeshitela also pointed out the absolute importance to the liberation process the 5th Ward Garden and AAPDEP has to its success.

He pointed out that we must learn to grow our own food and eat healthy, so that we can live to fight for our liberation.

The People make One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace a success

This was truly a festive occasion. There were ten or more cultural and musical acts, face paintings and the big Moon Walk for the children.

There were all sorts of vendors, including bar-b-que chicken, fried fish, and vegan vendors serving the people food.

Also, there were vendors with clothing, oils, jewelry and books that made for a genuine African marketplace that we must develop into a self reliant economic endeavor – the One Africa! One Nation! Marketplace.

Carolyn Rodgers, representing the Houston Chapter of AAPDEP, a co-sponsor of the event, along with the Office of the Chairman, Omali Yeshitela, spoke on behalf of the local organization and really thanked the crowd and the vendors for coming out to support such an effort as the 5th Ward Community Garden and the Marketplace.


At right: Special thanks to Brother MJ whose talented hip-hop rapper style with a message on the police gave a dynamic performance; (Not shown)to rapper Barrett who is trying to bring something positive to the community, and as always, a special, special thanks to Ashlei and Justice of the 144 Elite for their always spectacular performances.

She called for volunteers here in Houston and for the people to help with the work that is being done in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Omowale Olanrewaju, representing the National Black United Front (NBUF), called on the community to join in on the weekly protest demonstrations at Houston’s City Hall, demanding an end to police violence and murder in the African community.

He specifically reminded the crowd of the video recorded police beating of 15-year-old Chad Holley.

Police were caught on video running over Holley with their patrol car then jumping out, with the help of other cops on the scene, beating him with Billy Clubs and kicking him.

Olanrewaju also called on the people to join in the struggle against mass imprisonment of Africans and the freeing of political prisoners.

A special thanks goes out to Danny Russo for supplying the sound system and engineering of the entire event.

This was the second time within a year that Russo has come to the aid of the Uhuru Movement with his expert services.

“Detroit” DuJuan Harris deserves special thanks also for his production of the entertainment aspect of the Juneteenth One Africa! Marketplace Freedom and Music Festival.

This was also Detroit’s second production in less than a year for the Uhuru Movement.

The production of these events by the Uhuru Movement, Detroit and Russo can only lead to better things.

Economic self-reliance is what these events are geared to achieve. In order to achieve economic development, you have to start somewhere, and we have done that.

Finally, Omowale Kefing, APSP leader in Houston, closed out the event thanking all the cultural workers/entertainers, and the vendors for coming out supporting this tremendously important event in Houston’s 5th Ward.

And most importantly, Kefing thanked the people for the work they did to make the event a success.






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